The crisis in the meaning of freedom -- What is freedom? -- Limiting freedom -- Freedom and justice -- Why we should accept this view of freedom -- Conditions that make us more free -- Applying the theory to the real world --Conclusion -- Appendix for professional philosophers -- Notes.
We are pleased to annouce that God’s Companions by Samuel Wells has been shortlisted for the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk Grounded in Samuel Wells’ experience of ordinary lives in poorer neighborhoods, this book presents a striking and imaginative approach to Christian ethics. It argues that Christian ethics is founded on God, on the practices of human community, and on worship, and that ethics is fundamentally a reflection of God's abundance. Wells synthesizes dogmatic, liturgical, (...) ethical, scriptural, and pastoral approaches to theology in order to make a bold claim for the centrality of the local church in theological reflection. He considers the abundance of gifts God gives through the practices of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. His central thesis, which governs his argument throughout, is that God gives his people everything they need to worship him, be his friends, and eat with him. Wells engages with serious scholarly material, yet sets out the issues lucidly for a student audience. (shrink)
The article will argue that Charles Sanders Peirce's concepts of the ?Dynamics of Belief and Doubt?, the ?Fixation of Belief? as well as ?habits of belief? taken together comprise a theory of learning. The ?dynamics of belief and doubt? are Peirce's explanation for the process of changing from one belief to another. Teaching, then, would be an attempt to control that process. Teaching critical thinking represents an attempt to teach the learner to regulate and discipline his or her own ?settlement (...) of belief?. The ?settlement of belief? takes four different forms based on doubt. Peirce's concept of the ?habits of belief? refers to the inner and outer constraints placed both on belief as such and belief as it becomes action. The article may be read as both an exegesis of learning and as a pedagogical guide for teaching critical thinking to college students. (shrink)
Jesus Christ may be regarded as the chief spirit of agitation and innovation. He himself declared, “I come not to bring peace, but a sword.” One cannot delve seriously into the centuries of activism and scholarship against racism, Jim Crowism, and the terrorism of lynching without encountering the legacies of Timothy Thomas Fortune and Ida B. Wells-Barnett. Black scholars from the 19th century to the present have been inspired by the sociological and economic works of Fortune and Wells. (...) Scholars of American philosophy, however, continue to ignore their writings, their theoretical contributions and their ethical aspirations, preferring instead the insipid declarations of white turn of the century .. (shrink)
Historically labor has been central to human interactions with the environment, yet environmentalists pay it scant attention. Indeed, they have been critical of those who foreground labor in their politics, socialists in particular. However, environmentalists have found the nineteenth-century socialist William Morris appealing despite the fact that he wrote extensively on labor. This paper considers the place of labor in the relationship between humanity and the natural world in the work of Morris and two of his contemporaries, the eminent scientist (...) Thomas Henry Huxley, and the Fabian socialist Herbert George Wells. I suggest that Morris's conception of labor has much to recommend it to environmentalists who are also interested in issues of social justice. (shrink)
During the British socialist revival of the 1880s competing theories of evolution were central to disagreements about strategy for social change. In News from Nowhere (1891), William Morris had portrayed socialism as the result of Lamarckian processes, and imagined a non-Malthusian future. H.G. Wells, an enthusiastic admirer of Morris in the early days of the movement, became disillusioned as a result of the Malthusianism he learnt from Huxley and his subsequent rejection of Lamarckism in light of Weismann's experiments on (...) mice. This brought him into conflict with his fellow Fabian, George Bernard Shaw, who rejected neo-Darwinism in favour of a Lamarckian conception of change he called "creative evolution.". (shrink)
Ida B. Wells (1862?1931) was a considerable figure in her day. But she has not been accorded posthumous acclaim in parallel. This oversight is either just, or an unprecedented historical falsification ? enabled largely through unhappy, gendered misperception. African?American thought for long turned round dispute between accommodation (Washington) and protest (Du Bois) as forms of leadership. Yet this contrast may mislead. First, Washington was more white placeman than black leader. Second, Du Bois, more than anyone, helped diminish, even extinguish, (...) the Wellsian intellectual legacy. If Wells?s arguments (on violence) have critical significance, and Washington?s are insubstantial and time?serving, then the important struggle within African?American leadership may come to be relocated within the protest tradition ? as between Du Bois (romantic Pan?Africanist) and Wells (universal defender of human rights), both recovered by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Wells possibly more fittingly. (shrink)
(2000). Scientific utopianism in Francis bacon and H.G. wells: From Salomon's house to the open conspiracy. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy: Vol. 3, The Philosophy of Utopia, pp. 172-188.
H. G. Wells has long occupied a curious place in the literary history of the early twentieth century, positioned as an extremely popular yet myopic outsider whose seeming miscalculation of the post-1910 literary zeitgeist acted in a directly inverse relation to his uncannily accurate technological predictions of the world to come. Wells’s reputation as a literary innovator in this period sunk in opposite relation to his rising stature as a futurologist, a shift whose repercussions for the author’s legacy (...) are, as both Roger Luckhurst and Steven McLean have recently noted, still largely evident in the ways his work is positioned, studied, and debated in the contemporary academy.1 As Wells’s 1890s scientific romances .. (shrink)
The possibility of achieving ectogenesis, or the growing of a human fetus to term in an artificial womb, is approaching reality as a result of advances in treatment of premature newborns and in in vitro fertilization techniques. In their 1984 book, The Reproductive Revolution, issued in North America as Making Babies, Peter Singer and Deane Wells offered several arguments for ectogenesis. James examines their arguments and rejects two of them, that ectogenesis offers a less problematic alternative to surrogate motherhood, (...) and that ectogenesis could make it possible to reconcile fetal rights with the right to abortion on demand. He grants Singer and Wells' argument that the childless have a claim to state support of their desire to nurture, but contends that government-supported ectogenesis should still be rejected because the adoption of unwanted children is a preferable alternative to the use of an exotic, expensive, and still unproven technology. (shrink)
Experiments on quantum wells in tilted fields have stimulated several groups to investigate semiclassical theories for the current fluctuations. As a result, there is now a sort of “Zoo” of different types of trajectories (Periodic Orbits, Normal Orbits, Central Closed Orbits, Ghost Periodic Orbits, Saddle Orbits, Minimal Orbits) which have all been used to analyse these experimental spectra. Here we review briefly the semiclassical descriptions for this system and discuss which types of trajectories are most appropriate in those regimes (...) where one cannot use Periodic Orbits. We conclude that using either Saddle Orbits (SOs) or Minimal Orbits (MOs) yields excellent agreement with experiment and quantal calculations. We also investigate the damping of the amplitudes of POs (or other semiclassical trajectories). In these scaling systems, different experiments on wells of variable dimensions can correspond to the same classical dynamics and even the same effective ℏ. The trajectory associated with the experimental current oscillation is unchanged: the only significant alteration is a re-scaling of the period T of the PO, affecting only the amplitude damping factors τe−T/τ due to incoherent processes in the experiment. By comparing measurements of the same period-doubling feature of the current in 85 nm and 120 nm wells we can probe the value of τ from the change in the PO (or SO/MO) amplitudes which are estimated from the experiment. (shrink)
Shaftesbury's philosophy combined a powerfully teleological approach, according to which all things are part of a harmonious cosmic order, with sharp observations of human nature (see section 2 below). Shaftesbury is often credited with originating the moral sense theory, although his own views of virtue are a mixture of rationalism and sentimentalism (section 3). While he argued that virtue leads to happiness (section 4), Shaftesbury was a fierce opponent of psychological and ethical egoism (section 5) and of the egoistic social (...) contract theory of Hobbes (section 6). Shaftesbury advanced a view of aesthetic judgment that was non-egoistic and objectivist, in that he thought that correct aesthetic judgment was disinterested and reflected accurately the harmonious cosmic order (section 7). Shaftesbury's belief in an harmonious cosmic order also dominated his view of religion, which was based on the idea that the universe clearly exhibits signs of perfect divine design (section 8). According to Shaftesbury, the ultimate end of religion, as well as of virtue, beauty, and philosophical understanding (all of which are turn out to be one and the same thing), is to identify completely with the universal system of which one is a part. (shrink)
Readers of “lives” of the famous know well the tendency of biography, and especially autobiography, to become steadily less interesting as the subject grows older. A predictable record of challenges met, enemies shafted, honours received and great men encountered often succeeds an account of a childhood that is a highly-coloured and unique emotional drama. Often the best pages are those on the subject’s schooldays, when the personality first tangles with the public realm. As Barry Oakley says of school in a (...) piece quoted in the book’s preface: “Like the stage, it’s an image of life: life accelerated, life concentrated, life more formidable.” The project of selecting just the highlights of all the stories of Australians’ schooldays promises, then, a high payoff if it is well done. It is a high-risk enterprise, though: a pointillist canvas brilliant in each fleck may easily look like mud from a distance. There are well over a hundred authors here, with only three pages or so each to paint a vignette of school. In fact, the result is an enormous success. The editors have a sure eye, and they and their research assistant, Pamela Williams, have put in the work to find the goods. Almost every piece is gripping, and quite different from the others. The total effect is additive, and is an unexampled insight into how the Australia we know came into being. The classics are there: Henry Lawson and Patrick White, Seven Little Australians and The Getting of Wisdom, Donald Horne, Barry Humphries and Clive <span class='Hi'>James</span>. So are the many unknowns whose recollections take us into obscure corners. If there is one overall theme, it is that of sameness, difference and “fitting in”. The effect of the accumulated evidence is rather more subtle than the received ideas on “identity and difference”, multiculturalism and so on. School is where the strangeness of one’s own family, or of one’s own personality, meets the social world – itself perhaps no less weird, objectively speaking, but possessed of resources for ensuring conformity.. (shrink)
The time-dependent scattering of one-dimensional Gaussian wave packets of various energies incident on(1) a square potential barrier and(2) a square well is examined numerically, using the quantum potential introduced by Bohm. The time-dependent quantum potential is calculated in each case, and the results displayed on three-dimensional computer plots. The particle trajectories from different initial positions within the wave packet are also shown, giving a detailed description of reflection and tunneling in terms of individual processes. The wider implications of this analysis (...) are also briefly considered. (shrink)
"Sometimes I call this reality Science, sometimes I call it Truth. But it is something we draw by pain and effort out of the heart of life, that we disentangle and make clear. Other men serve it, I know, in art, in literature, in social invention, and see it in a thousand different figures, under a hundred names... I do not know what it is, this something, except that it is supreme.".
We shall find that the metaphysical views offered on behalf of moral conclusions about abortion do nothing in defence of those conclusions. Other disputable assumptions separate each moral conclusion from the invoked metaphysical view. It is the defensibility of the other assumptions that is crucial. No metaphysical view cited on behalf of a moral conclusion substantially advances the argument in favour of the conclusion.
While the transnational public sphere has existed in the Arendtian sense at least since the mid-19th century, a new kind of reflexively political global civil society emerged in the late 20th century. However, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), advocacy groups, and networks have limited agendas and legitimacy and, without the support of at least one state, limited means to realise changes. Since 2001, theWorld Social Forum (WSF) has formed a key attempt in forging links and ties of solidarity among diverse actors. Although (...) the WSF may seem a party of opinion when defined negatively against neoliberal globalisation, imperialism, and violence, in more positive ideological terms it remains a rather incoherent collection of diverse actors; while itself defined as a mere open space. There is a quest for new forms of agency such as a world political party. Various historical predecessors of global political parties, real and imagined, provide conceptual resources, useful experiences for envisaging the structure, and function of a possible planetary partyformation. H.G. Wells’s ‘open conspiracy’ is a particularly important future-oriented leftdemocratic vision. Wells believed that only a mass movement of truly committed individuals and groups could have the power to transform the world political organisation, by creating a democratic world commonwealth. Recently, for instance, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri have formulated similar ideas. I argue that transformative political agency presupposes a shared programme, based on common elements of a wider and deeper world-view, and willingness to engage in processes of collective will-formation in terms of democratic procedures. From this perspective, I outline a possible organisation and some substantial directions for a global political party. The point is also to respond to the criticism of existing parties and cultivate the critical-pluralist ethos of global civil society, but in terms of democratic party-formation. Keywords: Arendt; citizenship; civil society; participation; political party; republicanism; rotation; Wells; world parliament; World Social Forum (Published: 22 June 2011) Citation: Ethics & Global Politics, Vol. 4 , No. 2, 2011, pp. 81-102. DOI: 10.3402/egp.v4i2.7334. (shrink)